Can Dogs Eat Pizza? – Is It Safe for Dogs?

Pizza smells great, looks tasty, and is a delectable treat for many dog owners. It can be extremely tempting to cave to canine pressure when the pizza is delivered, especially as you have your fill and get down to the crusts, but most pizzas contain a litany of low quality ingredients, many of which have the potential to cause damage to your dog. It might be tempting to throw them a morsel from the box, but it is best to completely avoid feeding this type of food to your beloved pet.

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Is Pizza Safe for Dogs?

Pizza is not considered safe for dogs and should not be fed to them. Whether store bought, homemade, or straight from the delivery driver, your pizza is likely to contain cheese, be rich in sodium, and also have other ingredients that are potentially hazardous for your dog.

Even if your dog does not suffer the ill effects of eating these ingredients, there is no nutritional value, and this means that your dog will be eating empty calories. If they eat too many empty calories, they will gain weight and become deficient in various vitamins and nutrients that are important to their continued good health.

Are There Any Health Benefits?

Whether there are any health benefits to pizza does depend, at least a little, on the ingredients and the toppings. Pizza is heavily processed food and, as a rule, you should completely avoid giving your foods that have been over-processed. Even if there are healthy sounding toppings on the pizza, the way they have been prepared means that they are likely to have lost most of the key nutrients they contain. Even if there are any health benefits to the toppings, it is best to avoid giving your dog pizza at all.

Golden Retriever eating pizza crust
Image: Wikimedia

Ingredients to Avoid

You should not feed your dog pizza and it is unlikely that there are any healthy ingredients. In fact, many of the ingredients commonly found in pizza could be dangerous for your dog, but especially the following:

  • Garlic – Garlic gives pizza a bit of a kick and it is often found in pizza sauce and toppings, even if you don’t ask for it. This hidden ingredient is known to be toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Onion – From the same family as garlic, onion should also be avoided by all dogs. These alliums are high in thiosulfate which negatively impacts the oxygen in red blood cells. This means that even a small amount of either of these ingredients can do irreparable damage to your dog with potentially fatal results. They are also mixed into sauces and can be impossible to spot at first glance, which makes them a hidden danger that lurks in the pizza topping.
  • SodiumPepperoni and anchovies are among some of the toppings that are high in sodium, along with the tomato sauce topping. If your dog eats too much sodium over a long period of time, they can suffer stomach complaints as well as heart disease. If they consume too much too quickly, their body can go into shock which can lead to death.
  • Cheese – Many dogs suffer from lactose intolerance. The cheese on top of a pizza is not only the worst type of cheese for a dog, but it is also added in large quantity that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea as well as gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Fat – One of the reasons that most of us enjoy the occasional pizza is because it is almost literally dripping in fat. There is grease in all forms of pizza and too much fat leads to obesity. It can be difficult for dogs to lose weight, but high fat levels also lead to complaints like pancreatitis.
  • Simple Carbohydrates – A lot of us leave the crust of the pizza when we’re done, especially if we’re trying to power through the last couple of slices. It can be very tempting to give these to your dog, but even the crust, which does not contain the ingredients listed above unless it is a stuffed crust, contains sodium and is made up of simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs do nothing for the body except deliver calories. The crust can also lead to lethargy and listlessness from your usually hyper dog.

Can Dogs Eat Pizza?

Any food that has been processed and prepared for human consumption should not be given to dogs. This is especially true of pizza which is packed full of potentially lethal ingredients such as sodium, garlic, and onion. What’s worse is that some of these ingredients are well hidden and don’t even appear in the toppings list. You should not feed pizza to your dog, and this includes the crust which is little more than a concoction of carbohydrates and sodium.


Featured Image: PublicDomainImages from Pixabay